I have gotten lots of questions about this pregnancy, so here are some answers…
Was this a surprise?The snarky answer I sometimes feel like giving goes something like this: “Well, I’m a biology teacher and my husband is a doctor--we’ve got a pretty good grasp on what causes pregnancy. (Especially since we already have four children.) I think it is probably safe to assume that this was planned.”
The real answer is that we thought and prayed about this for years. We knew 5 years ago that it was time to take a REAL break from having children. We had four children ages 6 and under and Doug had 6 more years of medical training. We were financially, spiritually, physically, and emotionally exhausted. We felt strongly prompted to focus on the unique (and sometimes incredibly demanding) needs of the children already in our family.
Things have changed. We are in a different place financially, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and educationally. When this baby is born, Doug will have 5 months left of training. Our children are in different places in their growth and development. We felt very strongly that we needed to be open to having another child if that was what our Heavenly Father wanted for our family. We believe in families and we believe He will guide our lives if we were willing to submit to His will. So this was not a surprise. Although, I will admit to being surprised I got pregnant so quickly.
How are you feeling?Not so great, but that is normal “pregnant” for me. I kind of hate to talk about it because I know there are people out there who have it MUCH worse. I had moderate morning sickness until about 16 weeks and had to use several medications to keep myself functional during that time. I’m still trying to get off all of them. The nausea is gone, but I have back problems and tachycardia to keep me uncomfortable now.
I’m still completely exhausted and will remain so for the rest of the pregnancy. It is a huge blessing that my other children are in school and I can get some rest each day. This is probably the biggest challenge for me since I am normally such a high energy person. I get frustrated at how little I can do in a day and then I start to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. Thankfully, I am married to an incredible man who is good at reminding me of what matters most!
Are your kids excited?
They are super excited! They each had a unique reaction to the news and they each have unique ways of showing their anticipation. I think I am most excited to have this baby for them. They were so close in age to one another that they never got to truly enjoy and experience a baby.
Can you safely have 5 C-sections?I can. The doctor who delivered #3 and #4 said there was very little scarring and we’d be fine to have another if we so desired. My doctors now don't seem concerned.
What do people say when you tell them you are having a 5th child? Especially in the South?!?I’m sure plenty of them think I we are crazy and maybe they say so behind our backs, but I have yet to hear an unkind word. Many of my friends right now are not members of our Church, but they have a great deal of respect for the fact that we are trying to do what we feel God wants us to do. A few have expressed that they wish they had been able to have more children or had done so when they were younger. Mostly my friends and acquaintances are thoughtful and considerate. Many strangers express delight that we are being “so blessed”!
I will leave it there. I do feel blessed—crummy, but blessed. We’ll have another 4 ½ months of a not-so-clean house, random meals, and barely keeping it together. But, at the end of it all there will be a new little person to love and it’s more than worth it.